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Reduction of Distortion in Conical Horn Loudspeakers at High Levels

Many horns have audible distortion at high levels. We measured a horn consisting of six conical sections with a 10” element at 99 dB SPL. A closed back gave maximum 2.4% second harmonic and 3.4% third harmonic distortion in the 100-1000 Hz range, while an open construction had 1.25% and 0.6%. A new semi-permeable back chamber reduced this to 0.7% and 0.35%. We hypothesize that the distortion is partly due to the non-linear compliance of air in the back chamber, and partly is due to the element’s interaction with the front and back loading of the horn, and that the new construction loads the element in a more optimal way.

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